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Title page for ETD etd-11092006-225240

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Zeidner, Timothy Lanse
URN etd-11092006-225240
Title Information and Access: Modeling the impact of information on a student's probability of attending college
Degree PhD
Department Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
William R. Doyle Committee Chair
David S. Cordray Committee Member
James C. Hearn Committee Member
Thomas M Smith Committee Member
  • college access
  • college preparation information
  • postsecondary choice
Date of Defense 2006-09-14
Availability unrestricted
This research analyzes the determinants affecting access to postsecondary education with particular attention to the role of college preparation information. Prior research on the college choice process and college access has primarily been conducted in two spheres: academic preparation and financial aid. While these two strands of literature are often treated as oppositional hypotheses, they need not be. This article fuses the two bodies of research while discussing the relatively untreated role of information concerning both academic preparation and financial aid as an important determinant in a student’s probability of accessing postsecondary education. The evolution of empirical models regarding important determinants in postsecondary access are presented with the proposition of next steps, including the role of information, that allows for a more fully specified model in studying the variables that affect whether a student continues her education after high school graduation.

Prior research has treated educational expectations and academic performance as static elements in the college choice process. This dissertation analyzes the impact of college preparation information on evolving educational expectations and academic performance throughout students’ secondary schooling. Furthermore, I analyze the direct role of academic and financial aid information on the probability of enrolling in various levels of postsecondary education. As information is discovered to have an influence on changing educational expectations, this suggests that the influence of student expectations on postsecondary enrollment is an indirect avenue through which college preparation information may yield influence. Results indicate that the reception of early and late college preparation information possesses explanatory value in models that predict the probability of postsecondary attainment for high school graduates.

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